Bhai Baljeet Singh Ji
Vaisakhi 2012 saw the release of the profoundly emotional and spiritual song, ‘Simar Mana’ to help raise funds for the Gurudwara built in 2006 to serve the strong Sikh community living in Grand Rapids, West Michigan, USA.
‘Simar Mana’ is one of six shabads taken from the Guru Granth Sahib that feature on the devotional album of the same name, released on the Jackson Heights Music label. The album features music by leading composer Gurmeet Singh and the stunningly emotive vocals of Bhai Baljeet Singh and Shreya Ghoshal.
This moving collaboration is the brainchild of Gurmeet Singh, Bhai Baljeet Singh, Sikh Society of West Michigan and Tejinder Singh Mander, a cardiologist from Grand Rapids, West Michigan, and President of the Gurudwara committee in the area. In 2005, the community was granted a loan to build a permanent Gurudwara in Grand Rapids, and Tejinder Singh approached renowned singer of Sikh devotional music, Bhai Baljeet Singh about recording an album to raise funds to pay off the loan. Bhai Baljeet Singh fell in love with the idea and suggested approaching the hugely respected composer Gurmeet Singh, to create the perfect musical score to complement the six shabads that they had chosen for the album. Gurmeet Singh further thought to create something unconventional handling religious experience with finesse.
Their collective vision was to make a contemporary sounding album including Western classical arrangements for which they recorded in Mumbai, Chennai and London, at Abbey Road and Air Lyndhurst using musicians who play for the Telefilmonic and The London Symphony Orchestra. They hired Andrew Mackay from the Bombay Dub Orchestra to facilitate the process. The resulting album is something that will appeal to both the Sikh faithful and lovers of meditational music.
Behind the Scenes ~The Making of Simar Mana
Gurmeet Singh says of the final album: “This is a very contemporary and unconventional work that I am sure will touch your soul and will resonate with all the generations across the globe. What I have created is the amalgamation of Indian and Western classical music rendered by Bhai Baljeet Singh-ji and melodious Shreya Ghoshal-ji and I hope this album will have a shelf life and will echo in the hearts of all music lovers across the globe for years and years to come, Thank you. God Bless.”
Tejinder Singh Mander, the man behind ‘Simar Mana’ concludes: “This has been a truly humbling experience for me and the Sikh community in West Michigan. We all had a dream to build our own Gurudwara and with the help of Gurmeet Singh-ji, Bhai Baljeet Singh-ji, and the support of Sikhs around the world, we may actually make our dream come true.”
‘Simar Mana’ is available on iTunes. Profits from the sale of the single and album ‘Simar Mana’ will be donated to the Gurudwara fund in Grand Rapids, West Michigan.
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